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Data: Axios research and FiveThirtyEight's Trump Score. See our methodology here. Chart: Naema Ahmed, Sara Wise, Juliet Bartz, Orion Rummler/Axios

Sen. David Perdue, whose upcoming runoff election in Georgia could help determine which party controls the Senate, has been President Trump’s top loyalist in the upper chamber, according to the "Axios on HBO" Trump Loyalty Index.

Why it matters: In the wake of a presidential election largely seen as a referendum on Trump, Perdue’s unbreakable allegiance to the president effectively makes Trump an issue again in the runoff.

  • Perdue received a 91 out of 100 on our Trump Loyalty Index — the highest score among the Senate’s 53 Republicans — by voting with the president 95% of the time and defending him through seven controversies that would have crushed most politicians.
  • Perdue’s score is also the second highest among the 201 Republican members of Congress who have held office throughout Trump’s term, falling two points short of Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.), who topped the list with a 93.

Between the lines: Even though President-elect Joe Biden leads Trump in Georgia as the state heads to a recount, Perdue has doubled down on his loyalty to the president.

  • Earlier this week, Perdue and fellow Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R), who's also in a runoff on Jan. 5, called on Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over a failure to deliver "honest and transparent elections," although the senators did not provide evidence.

The bottom line: Despite Georgia trending blue in a presidential race for the first time since 1992, Perdue and Loeffler’s fierce loyalty to the president signals that they see tapping into and turning out Trump’s base as their most promising path to retaining their seats.

  • If they’re right, it would be yet another reflection that this election has not been the complete repudiation of Trump that Democrats hoped for.

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on Trump's impeachment trial: "I think it has to happen"

President Biden told CNN Monday that he believes the impeachment trial of former President Trump "has to happen," but he does not think 17 Republicans will join Democrats to vote to convict.

Why it matters: Biden's comments are most concrete he has made about his views on Trump's second impeachment.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.